New statistics show that if you drive a Ford F-Series pickup, your vehicle is more likely to be stolen than any other.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its annual “Hot Wheels” report that chronicles annual trends in auto thefts using data from across the U.S.
Suffice to say, since the F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades, finding it atop this list isn’t all that surprising. In fact, 38,938 F-Series trucks were stolen in 2019 with the 2006 model year being the most popular among car thieves.
However, the most stolen vehicle in the U.S. last year was the 200 Honda Civic with 4,731 of them being swiped off the streets. The aforementioned 2006 Ford pickup finished third overall. Hondas have led the way both in terms overall thefts and specific thefts by model year for some time.
Ford’s “ascension” to the top spot overall is really a sign of the popularity of pickups as four full-size pickup models found their way onto the “Most Stolen” and “Top 10 Model, Makes and Years” list in 2019.
Following the Ford F-Series on the “Most Stolen” list was the Honda Civic, Chevy Silverado line-up, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Toyota Corolla, Dodge/Ram pickups, GMC Sierra line-up and Honda CR-V.
When it comes to the specific models, the 2000 Civic was followed by the 1997 Honda Accord, 2006 Ford F-Series, 2004 Chevrolet Silverado, 2019 Ram, 2001 CR-V, 2015 Altima, 2001 Dodge pickup, 2019 Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee and 2018 GMC Sierra.
Although newer vehicles do have more built-in safeguards, it there’s one thing that these new lists make clear, those won’t stop a car thief from trying to – and successfully – steal your vehicle. In 2019, the top three model years stolen were 2018 vehicles (47,859 thefts), followed by 2019 models (45,188 thefts), and 2017 models (39,425 thefts).
The NICB offers suggests vehicle owners be proactive in the protection of the vehicles, employing common sense tactics, such as not leaving keys in vehicles, locking doors and parking in well-lit areas. The group also recommends having a warning device such as an alarm or other device to let potential thieves know the vehicle is protected.
It also recommends a device that can immobilize your vehicle to prevent thieves from hot wiring your car, kills switches, fuse cutoffs or wireless ignition authentication. Finally, the group says tracking devices can help limit the damage done to a stolen vehicle as police can track the vehicle to a location. Some of these devices will even let the owner do so.
Car thefts are on the decline after three years of increases from 2015 to 2017. In 2018, the number dropped 3.1% to 748,841 vehicles, according to FBI statistics. Final numbers for 2019 haven’t yet been released.
About $6 billion was lost to motor vehicle theft in 2018. The average dollar loss per theft was $8,407. Motor vehicles were stolen at a rate of 228.9 per 100,000 people in 2018, down from 237.7 in 2017. In 2018, 748,841 vehicles were stolen, down 3.1 percent from 772,943 vehicles in 2017.